Dear Common – Democracy

Dear commons
that means everybody
soon as you can
conceive it
not a house of
but a space between
everybody’s anywhere—
can we ask again
what a democracy is
or what it looks like?
We know you are busy
all the everythings
you are up to
on some glowing
page or site or
at work or at home
(if those are still
distinct places
you careen between)—
but guess again
at the outside
of polling stations
characters in debate
mostly acting like
they’ve imagined we
imagine we want
them to act for us—
ignore them as
best you can
they are the fallen
angels of the polis
panders of influence
and money’s more
indecorous gestures

Now let’s imagine
ourselves as actors—
here’s a stage we found
call it wherever you are
call it whoever you’re with
(they are actors too)
the script is how to
get everyone home safe
get everyone a home
get everyone what they need
get everyone involved
in the decisions that
most directly affect them—
health of the land
an open future
refuge and respect
for difference
which is the delight of being
access to the means
of our collective subsistence
autonomy by no other name

Turns out it was
always all talk anyways
but talk we make together
as we walk together too
not elections and not
even rights which were
made to infringe or just
float in the foul soup
of official discourse
like flags and songs
no one remembers
the origins of
except it was likely
theft blood and fire—
let’s call them instead
to each other and
to the earth
to the ways we all make
being the waymakers
we all are as
the demos daily
undoes every harm
touching loving local
hand to beloved
local root—
come here we say
in our best stage whisper
let’s make democracy
ordinary and strange
once again—let’s
make it what we do
every day and let’s
make it what scares
the living shit
out of the living shits
who have been trying
to keep us down
but who we now
run out of town
having figured out
what democracy is
and what it looks like
in this very act which it is

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